Friday, July 24, 2009

The intriguing music of Philip Glass at the Hollywood Bowl...

Last night we enjoyed our third trip to the Hollywood Bowl this season and the intriguing music of Philip Glass.
Philip Glass Hollywood Bowl evening
With a glass of wine we watched as Philip Glass introduced his first performance at The Hollywood Bowl, followed by two haunting pieces by the 'Philip Glass Ensemble'
Philip Glass introduction at The Hollywood Bowl
We were lucky again, like at the Aretha Franklin concert, to be back in the box-seats for a great view of the screen above the stage, as just like the Prokofiev classical music evening with the fantastic Peter & The Wolf animated short, we were treated to another film with accompanying orchestral soundtrack.
Philip Glass Hollywood Bowl concert
Joined on stage by the Los Angeles Master Chorale, conductor Michael Riesman and the L.A. Philharmonic we enjoyed Godfrey Reggio's 1982 wordless film Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance to a specially commissioned arrangement of Philip Glass's original score.
Philip Glass performs at The Hollywood Bowl
The unique music of Philip Glass perfectly fits the 85 minutes of collection of random powerful images from nature like deserts, clouds and oceans, to the industrial world of cities, commuters, congestion and factories. 
Philip Glass at The Hollywood Bow
The film uses extensive time lapse photography (images sped up), juxtaposed with visuals in slow motion, and so it's quite mesmerizing to watch. 
Philip GlassEnsemble at The Hollywood Bowl
It's the first time I've seen the film and at the beginning it's like you are watching something quite alien with the landscapes which look like they belong on another planet, especially with the accompanying evocative music.
Koyaanisqatsi and Philip Glass at The Hollywood Bowl
It's also interesting to think this film was made in the early Eighties and we still have the same concerns like war, the environment and that people are still living the same types of lives in cities like ants going to work. It makes me so thankful that I was able to take this opportunity to come to L.A. and breakaway from the London 'rat-race'
Koyaanisqatsi movie at The Hollywood Bowl
With no real plot and making you find your own meaning in the film, it certainly does make you think.
Koyaanisqatsi film at The Hollywood Bowl
Koyaanisqatsi in the Hopi language means: Life out of Balance; crazy life; life in turmoil; life disintegrating; a state of life that calls for another way of living.
Philip Glass at The Hollywood Bowl 23 July 09
In addition to the captivating film and music, we were also amused by the antics of some box-seat interlopers. The two ladies in question, obviously dressed in their finery (which really wasn't so fine), were hopping from empty box-seat to box-seat until the actual ticket holders showed up and they had to move on. 

They were probably cheaper seat holders who were trying their luck and you have to either admire their initiative or frown on their improper conduct when everyone else has paid to be there.

Regardless we had another entertaining evening at the Hollywood Bowl. Next on the agenda is 'Guys and Dolls' in concert with an all-star cast, so that should be fun.

Anyway, I'm off to contemplate the meaning of life (or maybe have a cup of tea)...

Buy the Philip Glass soundtrack in the UK: Koyaanisqatsi
Buy the Philip Glass soundtrack in the USA: KOYAANISQATSI (Complete Original Soundtrack Version)
Buy the DVD in the USA: Koyaanisqatsi - Life Out of Balance

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